Michael Pachleitner took over his father’s small optical company in 1984. Since then, he has worked continuously to develop it into what is now MPG, with currently around 900employees. “In my eyes, forward thinking and confidence are the most important factors. The industry is constantly changing. You need to always have the right instinct in order to continue to grow successfully.” His award for “Entrepreneur of the Year 2017” is a testament to the fact that he hasn’t lost this instinct over the decades. “It’s a huge honour. But the credit really goes to the whole team.” This also includes his wife Denise, to whom he has been married since 2012 and who is also an active part of the company. And another passion of his is also on display at the Graz company headquarters:in the foyer of the MP09, you will find a model of his vintage car collection.However, they’re not just for show.Michael Pachleitner drives them too.He participates in vintage car rallies with great enthusiasm.“You can’t be afraid of competition.Those who don’t act fast and agile in every situation stand no chance of winning.”
Certain moments have changed us in the blink of an eye. And we like to look back at them.
At the age of 25, Ing. Erich Pachleitner (in the picture with his wife Greta) and three partners founded Uniopt GmbH in Graz, a trading company for optical goods such as frames, binoculars and microscopes. For the first two years he rides a motorcycle to visit customers. In the mid-50s he left this company and founded his own optics and jewelery company. This becomes a real life task, as he leads the company through all the ups and downs for nearly three decades before handing over to the next generation – laying the foundation for the later MPG.
Michael Pachleitner, 24 years old and freshly graduated from law school, faces the most important decision of his life: accept a position as a notary – or see whether he can make something more of his father’s optics company, founded in 1949. He opts for the riskier choice and takes over the company, which at this point in time consists of just four employees. For business communications, the young entrepreneur has to use a public telefax service at Graz’s main railway station, and pens hand-written letters to Japan. But above all, he starts to write a new success story.
In 1973, an ambitious autodidact founds an eyewear brand in Vienna, making a name for himself internationally: Robert La Roche. His glasses make it into the pages of international fashion magazines and Hollywood blockbusters such as “Thelma & Louise” and “The Firm”. Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Andy Warhol wear his models. After 26 years, the cult designer retires and we acquire his trademark rights.
With the intention of offering lenses in addition to frames, Michael Pachleitner has his sights set on Optic GmbH in Vösendorf. However, the company is still lacking the necessary financial means for this acquisition. So he turns to a customer he has befriended, and makes a pact with him. If he is able to supply the latter’s businesses with lenses, the customer promises to pull out of his existing glass contract. In return, he pledges to provide him with financial support. It’s time to initiate the acquisition – and the first new glass customer is on board right from the start. He never changed his glass supplier again.
After seven years of glass production, it’s time for the next step: manufacturing eyeglass lenses in the highest possible quality with the label “Made in Germany”. And so the search begins for an efficient production site with the appropriate know-how in Germany. The decision is made in favour of Schulz Optische Fabrik on the German Baltic coastline, which at this time has over 60 years of experience in glass production. Starting immediately, the glasses from Glücksburg will be bringing joy to spectacle wearers.
A shared passion is the driving force behind a successful partnership. Here, it’s the love of Formula 1 that powers the collaboration between MPG and Red Bull. We share a further connection with chief Red Bull Racing advisor Dr. Helmut Marko: our Graz origins. He gets the cooperation on track – and we launch the Formula 1-inspired eyewear brand Red Bull Racing. In 2016 we enter the next round: in cooperation with our own brand SPECT, Red Bull SPECT Eyewear is born.
Graz is where the foundations for MPG were laid. And it is still important for us to build on the strength of the Styrian regional capital. The new headquarters are designed to resemble a black panther: dynamic, aesthetic and brave. With this image in mind, the project at the entrance to the city of Graz was brought to life. Today, the MP09 building is a place of creative innovation as well as the control centre for the entire MP Group. Of course, we also enjoy the stunning effect the Black Panther has on its visitors.
It’s actually his children who give Michael Pachleitner the idea of fitting out aspiring models with his eyeglass models. And indeed, he is awarded a contract by Pro7. In cooperation with Heidi Klum’s formula for success, MPG introduces the first official “Germany’s Next Topmodel” collection to the market in 2015. 16 exclusive sunglasses for all those who want to breathe the glamorous air of the world of fashion. The business model is up and running – and one million glasses are sold.
German defence ace and football World Champion Jérôme Boateng was named “Germany’s most stylish man” by GQ magazine in 2015. As a child, short-sighted Boateng used to hate his corrective lenses. In 2016, he finally decides to make his weak vision into a strength. He could have taken his project anywhere.And so he comes to Graz.Where, together with MPG, he creates an eye-catching line named #defendyourstyle
Those who want to provide rapid delivery have to think bigger. This is why we constructed a modern logistics centre in the Czech town of Domažlice in 2013, adding a significant extension just four years later. By now, it covers more than two football fields with its 15000 m2. Over 130 people are employed here. Many of them produce the finished glasses in the grinding workshop, so that opticians can receive everything from the same source in a quick and convenient process.